Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby ~ 11/12/21

Next year on this day I will play the lottery due to the good luck which the superstitious among us say comes from 11/12/22. For today, I will simply copy paste my Goodreads review of Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby.

Ike and Buddy Lee, two men on a mission. Couldn’t be more different yet deep down, they have their own shaded pasts and parental love/regrets in common. I was surprised by whodunnit at the ending. Lots of action and good storytelling throughout. Recommended read.

Now here’s a few good quotes from my commonplace book.

  • Buddy Lee Those are some $10 words you’re using.
  • Death had laid his cold hands on this place and stilled its heart.
  • It came out in one breath. One long exhaliation that gathered up all the frailty and ineffectiveness and misery and mourning that filled him like the stuffing in a scarecrow and scattered it into the ether.
  • Nobody knows the last time is going to be the last time until it’s too late.

If you’ve read the book or would like to discuss, I welcome your feedback in the comments.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of Well, This Is Exhausting: Essays by Sophia Benoit ~ 11/5/21

Since this is a memoir, I’ll stick with my nondescript recommendation. I gave 4 stars since to review, I have to rate first. What follows is my Goodreads review.

Relatable essays from one cis privileged white female to another. Though I’m at least a decade older, I found much in common with the author. Reviewing memoirs is hard. Like who I’m I to judge someone else’s experience? Nobody! I’m nobody. All I can say is thanks for reinforcing we are not alone in our idiosyncrasies. I walked away feeling validated.

The last time I called myself privileged, I was verbally attacked. It was on FB so no shocker. I’m like bite me biatch. My prerogative to acknowledge what I see for myself as being privileged. You do you. I wasn’t attacking what she may or may not have done to “earn” all her accomplishments. I for one can’t walk past the special treatment I’ve received for no other reason than being born. Yep I’m a princess. Queen, drama. Tata for now. Until next time.

As always more to come.

11/11/21 P.S. Here are the quotes from my commonplace book:

  • … do I think movie characters have shaped me as a human? No, not entirely … But I do think that what we see on screen shows us possibilities.
  • Maybe I self-policed myself too much as a teenager
  • Sure there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s also light everywhere if you get out of the damn tunnel.
  • What I know now is that brains are extraordinarily good at normalizing mistreatment
  • While I’m not fun per se, I can be fun adjacent
  • It should not have taken years of others people’s pain for me to catch on; no one should have had to be harmed ever to begin with
  • One time I got really concerned that I had pancreatic cancer because there are usually no symptoms for pancreatic cancer & I was experiencing no symptoms. (Crazy as it sounds that is medical anxiety or the almost hypochondriac in me)
  • I have a pretty high tolerance for pain; I have no patience for chronic discomfort. (also me)

I could go on but will save some goodness for later. I really think Sophia is my spirit animal. You are not alone can be true despite how it might feel sometimes.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker

Here is my no spoilers or plot synopsis Goodreads review: Duchess Day Radley, outlaw. Damn straight. This book had everything giving me the feels. The whole gambit of emotions. Loss, loyalty, family, secrets. Highly recommended read.

Are you intrigued enough to check it out? I sure hope so. Then maybe swing back by and let’s discuss. I miss my Skimmers and Sippers Book Club. Damn you Covid.

Since I read the hardback book, here’s a few quotes from my commonplace book:

Thunderheads gathered like mistakes

She had that ability, to feel totally alone on the beach full of people, in a class full of kids.

I go to church but don’t believe in God. He goes to prison but is not a criminal.

I am Dolly by the way, like Parton only without the chest.

But then maybe there aren’t degrees of bad. Maybe it doesn’t matter by how much you cross the line.

The exchange when Duchess meets her beau: Thomas: What’s your name? Duchess: Quiet now, I’m here to learn. Thomas: That’s a funny name.

Tragedy has a way of making saints out of mortals.

Confession does it only happen in church.

I was struck by the relationship between Thomas and Duchess. He was the kind of friend that you’d want for your daughter. Completely smitten and dedicated despite being only 14 years old. Fiercely loyal. As I mentioned above I felt all the feels. I laughed and I cried. I might even want to read this one again some day.

As always more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

I got this book from the SAPL online library while awaiting hardback holds to come in. Since this book was only a temporary download to my Kindle, I have no notes. I double checked my common place book and also came up empty. Oh well, next time I need to remember to jot notes. Here is my review though, captured by Goodreads.

Quick and easy read. Relatable characters, southern colloquial. An easily detectable whodunnit. The good guy prevails. Recommended read for an escape.

Take a peek if you’re so inclined mi amigos and amigas.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of Like Wind Against Rock by Nancy Kim

A hold from the library came in and I was able to pick up a real hardback book. I love the tactile sensations of turning pages but I miss the highlight feature of my Kindle. Instead, I old school take notes of lines that grab me. Alrighty, let’s go.

My review brought over from Goodreads: I love the familiar theme of life choices. To take chances or to settle. Is there any way to control who we love? It’s nice that there’s no ending. Let’s see how this plays out … just like Alice and Rick. It wasn’t until I was most of the way through that I realized this wasn’t non-fiction. The author being named Nancy Kim and not Alice Chang should’ve been my clue but oh well. I enjoy when lines are blurred and fiction is that realistic.

Here are a few of my notes credit to author Nancy Kim …

  • It’s a living, but is it a life?
  • Time for me doesn’t fly as much as tiptoe past, as though trying not to draw attention to itself like an early departing guest at a bad party.
  • My daughter, on the other hand, is the product of all my efforts, my hopes, and my dreams … Perhaps that is why she is a failure. When I see Alice, I see frustration, broken promises, missed opportunities. I see myself, unfinished and unfulfilled.
  • … the idea of my own son-in-law working a nine-to-five job with benefits saddens me.
  • I turn and I look at Victor. My son. Is he any less my son because we share none of the same genetic material?
  • But then it occurs to me that maybe Bertha doesn’t really want to lose weight. Maybe what she really wants is another cookie. Maybe what she really wants is for everyone else to accept her the way she is so that she can stop pretending to want to diet.
  • You have more need of time than it does of you.

Okay, guess that’s it unless I wanted to transcribe the whole book. Recommended read. Definitely two thumbs up.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of A Familiar Sight (Dr. Gretchen White #1) by Brianna Labuskes ~ 10/1/21

This book was a free read of the month from Amazon Prime. Here is my Goodreads, non-spoiler review: Crime fiction at its finest. The psychology of it all was fascinating. What are we capable of? What’s considered normal? Those were part of the theme.

I also have some decent quotes for my commonplace book.

  • Genetics loaded the gun, environment pulled the trigger.
  • “We need people in our lives who don’t expect us to be anything but what we are”
  • ” … how much she hated the word “honestly”—believing no person who was actually acting honestly would need to say it.”
  • “Psychopaths read power the way empaths could read body language. Instinctually.”
  • “Youth had a way of making secrets seem delectable rather than the rotting things age helped you see that they were.”

I want to read Dr. Gretchen White #2 when it comes out. As a character, she is fascinating. Though fictional, I know of a few folks like her in real life.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of Her Last Breath by Hilary Davidson ~ 9/17/21

My no spoiler Goodreads review: Told in alternating chapters from the point of views of Deidre (sister of the deceased)and Theo (husband of the deceased), this story is a classic suspenseful whodunnit. Sometimes broken relationships are healed and the bad guys get what they deserve.

Some of my highlights:

  • Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are. —Niccolò Machiavelli
  • “We say we wish to know dark secrets, Theo, but we rarely mean it. The truth is often so ugly we can’t look it in the face.”
  • “But I don’t think genes predict who you’ll be. They give you some characteristics, but they don’t define you.”
  • He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into you. —Friedrich Nietzsche
  • For as long as I’d known Mrs. Chen, her response to any situation, happy or sad, was to cook. It’s her primary way of expressing affection.

A recommended read. Quick, suspenseful, themes of nurture versus nature and more. I could be Mrs. Chen. Food is curative or can be.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms ~ 9/10/21

My no spoiler Goodreads Review While the story has been done before, there was a bit of a twist. Relatable themes of choices made and what it is to be female.

Here are my highlights:

  • … you can have it all, as long as you don’t ever want time to enjoy having it all.
  • Reality crept up slowly, like the sneaky bitch she is.
  • It takes me to a blog called Only Real Moms Know. Immediately I wonder what the hell a fake mom is.
  • We are enough as it is, right now, exactly where we are, no matter what or who we’re not!

Themes that fit with the current state of affairs. Staying in the political free zone, I’ll leave it at that. A recommended read. Quick, relatable, and at times even poignant.

As always, more to come.

J-Dubs Review of Later by Stephen King ~ 9/3/21

My no spoilers Goodreads Review: Storytelling at its most entertaining. Took me away as fiction does yet written in a relatable homey style. Don’t we always say “later” thinking I’ll get to it eventually. I know I do. Only in hindsight.

A few of SK’s verse quotes and my notes follow:

“Grits ain’t groceries and revenge don’t pay the bills” I’m not sure why I wrote this one down. I just liked the words I guess. Kiss my grits Flo. Lol.

“He kept moving west, like some fucked up brain dead pioneer” This paint a vivid image. Like the old Oregon Trail video game. Graphic scene actually.

“E and E – English and European literature. I once made the mistake of calling it lit and he corrected me, saying that was either for lights or being drunk” The character who said this is who I originally wanted to be growing up … a professor.

“I tell you what, the worst part of growing up is how it shuts you up” Damn if those aren’t the truest words you’ve ever read. As I got older, I became even more introverted, quiet, not always in a good way either. Experiencing growing pains shut me right the hell up.

“We change, and we don’t. I can’t explain it. It’s a mystery.” I’m reminded of the adage the more things change, the more they stay the same. Yeah Buddy.

And I gave it a recommended read. The number of stars is irrelevant. Read it if you have time.

As always more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

My Goodreads review was light. This is all I wrote: Sadly familiar but still no answers.

This book was the last hard back book I got from the library. I’m back into my own self-imposed semi-lockdown and haven’t felt like browsing. Fortunately my Kindle to loaded up with my freebies – one (sometimes two) books per month as a Prime member.

I returned this book with a whimper. Sadly, the story though fictional hits too close to home. The world is a terrible place … or can be. And that’s all I have to say about that.

As always, more to come.